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Teaching Tales from Thailand: Keeping up at Kalasinpittayasai

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I just finished my second week of teaching math at Kalasinpittayasai School. It is certainly different from teaching in America. I have about 35-40 students in every grade level (in Thailand they are called Prathom instead of grade) and I see each level three times a week. The classrooms have a/c but sometimes it is not turned on. Case and point…P6 got in trouble for posting “sexy dancing” on FB and inappropriate touching so their adviser turned off the air in their classroom for a month! I think I lose 5 pounds each day I go in there!! There is ALWAYS a constant chatter in the classroom, but when it gets too loud, I just stop and wait. Just like in America one student will notice and yell at everyone to be quiet. 🙂 I am still getting organized and trying really hard to learn names. Of course I usually mispronounce them, so the kids laugh at me all the time. They are starting to get used to my silliness and sarcasm but don’t always understand my jokes. One thing that Thai students love to do is help the teacher. They will take things out of my bag so that more people (usually girls) can help carry stuff to my office. I think their real motive is to get out of class.

Everyday we have an hour for lunch (unheard of in America) and I usually go back to my office after about 30 minutes. Inevitably I quickly have visitors who want to play hangman with me. 🙂 After lunch is over, they all gather on the covered porch area and one of the Thai teachers talks to them about something…lol That can last anywhere from 5-20 minutes, so any classes after lunch are cut short. Short or cancelled classes happen on occasion. One day last week I found out just before class that my P3s were taking a national test, so I didn’t need to go to class. On Thursday night we got a message that classes for P4-6 were cancelled on Friday because of an activity, so I only had a P2 class in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the schedule that was given to me had the wrong class time, so when I showed up the Thai teacher had them doing something else. It wasn’t a big deal though. They are very relaxed about those type of things…mai ben rai: no worries!

On a side note, I ventured out of Kalasin this weekend to the big city of Khon Kaen. It was definitely a learning experience. I wanted to visit Nam Nao National Park but wasn’t able to because of bus schedules, so I will try again another time. I did meet a Ugandan national football player who wanted me to take him to America. He said he could easily get his American visa if we were married. Hahahaha… I said, “Dude, you are talking to the wrong woman!”

Until next time…love to all!! xoxo

Julie

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About the author

Julie Asaro

Julie Asaro has always been someone who loves adventures and is willing to try most things (at least one time), but her move to Thailand definitely tops the list!! At almost 50 years old, she's getting to do what many people only dream about. Now we can all live vicariously through her tales as she spends a year teaching in Thailand.

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